Warriors observations: Klay Thompson's 3-point barrage fuels win vs. Rockets
What we learned as Klay drains 12 3s in win over Rockets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- Without Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, the shorthanded Warriors turned it on after a slow first quarter and put together a complete team performance, for the most part, Friday night at Chase Center in a 116-101 win over the Houston Rockets.
Klay Thompson, while playing the second night of a back-to-back for the second time this season, gave the Warriors everything he had and everything they needed. The Splash Brother played 36 minutes and scored 42 points, tied for his second-most this season and his most in a game that didn't reach overtime.
To put it lightly, this was a vintage performance from the future Hall of Famer. The Warriors' season has been a rocky roller coaster. They badly needed a win and didn't have three of their biggest stars. So, Klay saved the day.
He made 12 3-pointers, going 12 for 17 from deep, was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free-throw line and also added seven rebounds. All of that made him a season-high plus-32 in plus/minus.
Here are three takeaways from a needed Warriors win that brought them back to .500 with a 30-30 record.
Steve Kerr stuck to his word. During his pregame press conference, the Warriors coach made it clear he was going to play Moses Moody and he didn't wait long to do so. The second-year pro, who has been out of the rotation more often than not, was given first-quarter minutes with a little over two minutes left in the period.
He played well over five minutes in the second quarter and earned one of the best highlights of the night with a smooth four-point play.
Overall, Moody saw 12 minutes of action in the win. Though he took only four shots and made one of them, Moody was a plus-6 with four points and one assist.
The 20-year-old played confidently and his teammates were loving it. There were holes, no doubt. However, Moody for the second straight game was aggressive and showed why he belongs.
Buy PBJ Stock
Moody wasn't the only young Warrior to get a chance early on. In Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Moody and Patrick Baldwin Jr. were each a plus-7 in the final 10 minutes, helping significantly cut a major deficit. While Moody gave Golden State eight points, two rebounds and one assist, Baldwin added 11 points, three 3-pointers and two rebounds.
At the 8:19 mark of the second quarter, Baldwin replaced Anthony Lamb and showcased why he could be a much bigger part of the rotation moving forward. Under 30 seconds later, Baldwin without hesitation knocked down a three on his first offensive possession.
Standing 6-foot-10, his shot is unblockable. Think Kevin Durant, think Michael Porter Jr. That's how smooth Baldwin's shot is. Take a look for yourself.
PBJ's shot is a thing of beauty ð¤© pic.twitter.com/L9NL5Ko134
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 25, 2023
Baldwin started the fourth quarter after an ugly third for the Warriors and more than held his own. The first-round pick from last year played 15 minutes, scored 11 points and went 4 for 7 from the field, including three 3-pointers. If you haven't bought his stock yet, do it now before it's too late.
Klay Leads The Way
For how strong role players like Moody, Baldwin and others performed, the Warriors' starting five of Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga and Kevon Looney didn't disappoint.
Poole and DiVincenzo each scored 15 points, Looney snatched 13 rebounds for his fifth straight game with at least 13 boards and Kuminga had a solid overall performance while showcasing his midrange game. This one, though, was all about Klay.
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For the ninth time in his career, the Warriors sharpshooter made at least 10 threes. Steph Curry (22) is the only player with more such games in NBA history. Thompson's 42 points also gave him his 18th career 40-point game in his career, and his fourth this season. Remember, he missed two years of his prime.
Everybody played their part. None more than No. 11.
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